Nantu is one of Sulawesi's few remaining rainforests. Remote and spectacular, it is referred to as one of the five most important sites for biodiversity in South-East Asia. It can only be reached by longboat after a day's journey upriver in the blazing sun.
The Babirusa and Anoas are gravely threatened by widespread destruction of their rainforest habitat and illegal hunting, both exacerbated by low conservation awareness, widespread poverty and poor law enforcement. These species have a highly restricted global range, occurring only in Sulawesi, Indonesia's fourth largest island (175,000 km2).
Immediately outside the Nantu Forest Reserve live more than a thousand small farmers. Local income levels ($70/month) mean these settlers are dependent on destructive forest practices (rafting illegal timber, slash-and-burn forest clearance and wildlife poaching) for income.
This SOS - Save Our Species project, implemented by Yayasan Adudu Nantu Internasional (YANI), will reduce destructive pressures on the Nantu Forest and its threatened mammals through livelihood assistance activities, particularly bufferzone tree-planting of more than 175,000 fruit, timber and cocoa trees. Throughout this project the Nantu Protection Unit, a high-impact biodiversity conservation Unit, will also be operational, implementing 24/7 forest and species protection activities in the Nantu Forest.
This project builds on twenty years grass-roots conservation effort at Nantu by the YANI team. It will secure long-term protection of Sulawesi's endangered mammals by empowering local stakeholders in northern Sulawesi with educational materials and first-hand experience of Sulawesi's remarkable biodiversity.
The objectives of this project are to reduce destructive pressures on the Nantu Forest, redress the lack of international awareness of Sulawesi's unique biodiversity, and prevent the extinction of the Babirusa and Anoas as well as the destruction of one of their last strongholds on earth, the Nantu rainforest ecosystem.
Overall this project, carried out in partnership with a wide range of government, academic and local civil society groups, will protect many thousands of Sulawesi's Wallacean rainforest species, as well as the water catchment upon which more than 30,000 people living downstream depend.